after reading dennis noyes’ article on electronics in motogp, i’m torn (like an old sweater) between the two sides. the world’s premier class of motorcycle racing should be both the bastion of technological development as well as great entertainment.
the 2007 season was quite the snoozfest with ducati running away rider, constructor, and team championships. great for ducati. not so great for the fans as tv ratings were fading as quickly as michelin rubber.
enter carmelo ezpeleta, ceo of dorna, to save the day. under pressure from investors and riders, ezpeleta stated that it was time for motogp to consider a single standard ecu a la formula 1. this is quite the turnaround from earlier this year when he advocated the safety of traction control.
many of the old school riders (rossi, mamola, criville, rainey to name a few) think that traction control has dumbed down the sport making it more like a videogame than an arena to display courage and talent. basically, the computers are taking all the fun out of the racing. no more slides, tire smoke, and spectacular saves. just the stuttering of the engine as ignition timing is pulled.
but isn’t motogp supposed to be the epitome of motorcycle technology? every 2008 liter bike has traction control. so now a run-of-the-mill production bike has this technology but a multi-million dollar prototype doesn’t?!?!?! that doesn’t make sense. motogp machinery should be the best of the best, expense-be-damned, fastest of the fast.
motogp is in a real dilemna. it is at a crossroad. one leading to fun-filled exciting racing and the other to technological superiority. a compromise is in order to get the best of both worlds...
pierre terblanche, ducati design boss for the past decade, will be leaving the italian marque to set up his own design studio at the end of the year. dunzo!!! considered the chris bangle of the motorcycle world, terblanche is credited with the designs of the 900SS, 999, supermono and multistrada.
the 999 design was a total departure from the infamous 916. it was definitely unique but people either loved it or hated it. the most controversial decision was the replacement of the single-sided swingarm to a conventional one.
the fact that the 1098 did not carry over any design elements of the 999 rather the 916 probably spelled the end of terblanche at ducati.
in 2008 there’ll be some new players in the ama formula xtreme series. one of them will be bmw. they’ll be campaigning the all new 1200cc hp2 sport.
for those unfamiliar with formula xtreme it’s basically a free-for-all. bikes are highly modified and are of various engine displacements (up to 1350cc for air-cooled twins).
it’ll be interesting to see how well the boxer engine competes against the popular i-4 600’s. it’s cousin, the r1200 s won its class at le mans this year. in stock trim, the hp2 sport is on par with the power of a 600 but it has gobs more torque.
the season kicks off in march with the grueling daytona 200. so only a few more months for them to develop this engine…
first off, this is one of the sickest photos i’ve ever seen!!!
not sure when or where it was taken but it was probably during his brief stint in world superbike aboard a yamaha r1. considered one of japan’s finest riders, he passed away in a motorcycle accident this past october…
norick demonstrates how u want to be exiting a corner. he keeps his weight on the inside rearset while standing the bike up. this fades the bike to outer apron and allows him to apply the throttle earlier to get good drive out of the corner. he also has his upper body forward and behind the fairing which keeps the nose down and aerodynamic.
note the tire bending at the contact patch as it clings to the tarmac. simply amazing…
this photo was captured during the waning stages of the 2007 malaysian grand prix as already crowned world champ casey stoner charged to the win. it’s amazing that these racers set the fastest laps as tires fade and fuel loads lighten.
stoner has his gp07 cranked tilting the horizon to near vertical. as with all members of this elite class, he has pretty much perfect body positioning. he keeps his body compact and weight forward. his head looks through the turn focusing on the line to the next bend.
oh, the sweet sound of a ducati 1098. this video is from british tuner bsd. check out the flames on the over-rev!
a little off topic but the 675’s headers allegedly glow red when wrung out. i’d like to see a pic of that…
video by dennys passetto along with fellow 675er scott rosey in hw twins race